SPIRULINA, THE SMALL ORGANISMS BUT RICH BENEFITS

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By WAHJU TJAHJANINGSIH On Monday, July 15 th, 2019 · no Comments · In

Where there is a will, there is a way. Such is the old saying. And that was proven by Samuel Nege, a Masters of Fisheries and Marine Biotechnology student from Nigeria. During my time as a lecturer at Airlangga University since 1997, only one person, namely Samuel Nege, who practiced mass-scale Spirulina culture in an outdoor pool belonging to the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Affairs. Amazingly, he learned from scratch, with makeshift equipment, and succeeded.

Samuel Nege is one of the foreign students who is pursuing a master’s degree in the Master of Fisheries and Marine Biotechnology Study Program, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences, Airlangga University. Through the KNB (Developing Country Partnership) program, Nege received a scholarship at UNAIR. The absence of plankton experts in his country, prompted the State to learn isolation until the extraction of active ingredients in plankton, as the material for his thesis. One obstacle to being able to extract active ingredients is the availability of limited biomass, given the mass scale plankton culture that is not yet popular in Indonesia, except by the Fisheries Research Institute or the Company.

Accompanied by Joan Reza, owner of the Green Gold Spirulina business, Samuel Nege studied Spirulina culture techniques from the laboratory scale to breeding in concrete pools to obtain sufficient biomass, to extract the active ingredients as Thesis material. Thinking about ways to minimize the potential for contamination in mass-scale outdoor Spirulina cultivation, preparing sterile sea water in large volumes, is a separate struggle for a Samuel Nege. If it is done by Indonesian students, from Surabaya, or boarding children, this difficulty may be easier to overcome. However, for foreign students, who do it themselves for two nights to repeatedly boil sea water using a pan, to get a sufficient volume, they need their own enthusiasm. Not to mention when faced with stoves and other equipment that is damaged and must go to the workshop. Plus the weather is cloudy due to the rainy season, making anxiety about the success of mass culture.

Business does not betray results. Thanks to the persistence of his efforts, Nege succeeded in cultivating Spirulina himself for the preparation of his research material. For people who have often seen plankton culture, maybe this is not something too special. But for a beginner, and then successfully harvesting a number of pure plankton biomass isolates, it is a matter of pride and satisfaction. It is not impossible for us, to imitate Samuel Nege, to plant Spirulina at home, for daily consumption in order to get the extraordinary benefits of Spirulina.

 

Author

Endang Dewi Masithah
Department of Marine
Email: endang_dm@fpk.unair.ac.id

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